Left unions confident of total strike in Kolkata, Bengal

Mamata Banerjee. File.   | Photo Credit: Kamal Narang

The Left trade unions, which have called a 24-hour general strike for Wednesday in protest against the economic policies of the Centre, are confident of a total shutdown in Kolkata and in West Bengal.

Representatives of the trade unions said on Tuesday that not only the working classes but students, youth and even middle class opposed to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens would also join the strike and make it a huge success.

The strike called by 10 trade unions, including that of the Congress, has a long charter of demands, including universalisation of the public distribution system, containing unemployment through concrete measures for employment generation, increase of minimum wages, trade union rights among other issues.

Watch | 'Bharat Bandh' on January 8, 2020

New issues

“A number of issues have been added since we called the strike and people are keen to protest against the fascist tendencies of the Centre. Not only working class, but tomorrow we will see support of students, youth and middle class” State president of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions ( CITU) and former Labour Minister Anadi Sahu told The Hindu.

Mr. Sahu said rallies in support of the strike would start in different parts of the city at 6 a.m. “The central rally from the CITU headquarters in central Kolkata will start at 10 a.m. and will cover Entally and other parts of the city,” Mr. Sahu said.

TMC’s stand

A day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that though she supported the issues related to the strike, she would not allow bandh, Trinamool leader Partha Chaterjee said bandh was the last weapon and by using it often the Left parties were making it blunt. “For 34 years in the Left Front rule bandhs have become holidays,” he said.

On being asked whether they were opposed to the strike, Mr. Chatterjee reiterated what Ms. Banerjee had said, “We are not in support of the bandh, we are supporting the issues.”

The representatives of the trade unions however, expressed confidence that unlike the aggression shown over the past few years the ruling TMC would not foil the bandh this time

“If they show any aggression to foil the bandh then they will do at their own peril because people want to show their resistance through the bandh,” Mr. Sahu said.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2021 7:14:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/left-unions-confident-of-total-strike-in-kolkata-bengal/article30507922.ece

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